In October former Real Salt Lake – AZ Academy player Nico Muniz signed a professional contract with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake. The creative 18-year-old midfielder was a key part of the Real Salt Lake – AZ Academy’s campaign in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, scoring 11 goals in 26 games. Muniz will be eligible for Major League Soccer action in 2012. We sat down with Muniz to catch up on his early beginnings of his professional career and his time training at Grande Sports World with Real Salt Lake Academy – AZ Academy.
How is your professional career going?
So far so good. Mostly, it’s been about getting to know my teammates.., getting in with the guys. It’s been important for me to get to know everyone and I’m working hard to establish myself as a player.
I still have some things to work on, but I feel like I’m holding my own. The senior team plays at a faster and more aggressive pace.
How did Grande Sports Academy prepare you?
When you come to Grande, you know you’re there for a reason. You’re focused on soccer and the environment allows for that. All of your gear is ready to go in the locker room; you’re driven to games; you feel like a professional. You’re there to get something done.
And the constant training — everyday, twice a day — makes it easy to stay sharp and be prepared to for the next level.
What did you like most about Grande Sports World?
The facilities are top-class. The fields are absolutely amazing. They really don’t get much better. The locker rooms and performance center are great.
But perhaps more importantly, the staff there is great. Everyone from the coaches to the hotel staff are great. I’m excited to see everyone when I come back for Real Salt Lake’s preseason.